Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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Rajasthan: 350 workers died because of COVID-19 while on duty, but the state govt doesn’t believe it

The death certificates of several health workers who died of Covid, cite heart attack or diabetes as the reason thereby making them ineligible for state compensation.

As Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is busy making snide remarks at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the handling of the Covid crisis, the state ruled by his own party has refused to acknowledge the death of 350 frontline warriors.

As per a Dainik Bhaskar ground report, the state of Rajasthan has given compensation to just 6 health workers out of the 350 who succumbed to Covid-19 while on duty, refusing to acknowledge the sacrifice of the rest.

The death certificates of several health workers cite heart attack or diabetes as the reason, thereby making them ineligible for state compensation. The state had announced a compensation of Rs 50 lakhs to the kin of the frontline warriors. however, as per the report, only 6 families have received the compensation as yet.

Allegedly, the government which was at the forefront of deducting salaries of the workers is now flinging files from one department to another, denying these families their right.

Families wait for compensation

A teacher from Bharatpur lost his life to the Chinese virus while on duty, however, his death certificate cites heart attack as the reason. When the family of the deceased requested compensation, they were sent back after objection.

An inspector on audit duty contracted the virus while on duty. Despite hospitalization, he fell prey to the virus a few days later. His family is still awaiting compensation. 

Number of government workers who succumbed to Covid in the state

As of now, 100 employees from the education department, 50 from health, 23 veterinarians, 80 from power companies, 6 from mines, 8 from cooperations, 30 from the police force and 50 from other departments have lost their lives to Covid.

Compensation guidelines remain unclear

The guidelines to claim compensation from the state government continue to remain unclear. The state government has not made it clear whether the family of a worker will be eligible in the following cases:

  1. Will the kin receive compensation only if the worker dies on duty? What about the ones who stop reporting to duty on being infected and later succumb to the virus? 
  2. Will the kin receive compensation if a worker dies of Covid-19 after he is released from his duty?
  3. Is the kin eligible to receive compensation if a worker on Covid duty dies due to an accident while reporting/ returning from duty?
  4. There have been several cases of people falling prey to the virus after their Covid-19 report reflected false negative. Will the kin receive compensation in such a scenario?

Noticing a high death rate in the animal husbandry department, the Secretary of Veterinary Employees Union, Arjun Sharma said that they intend to file a criminal case against the department. 

Ravi Acharya, Minister of Rajasthan Teachers Association National demanded that the families of workers on Covid duties should receive compensation at the earliest.

Underreporting in Rajasthan

Huge discrepancies in Covid-19 deaths were brought to light in the state of Rajasthan. We reported earlier, how while the government of Rajasthan reported 3918 deaths between April 01 to May 20 from 25 districts, as per Dainik Bhaskar’s ground report, 14,482 cremations took place in just 512 village blocks during the same period. 

Informing about the reassessment, Medical and Health Minister Raghu Sharma informed, “We got the first 4,262 deaths assessed in rural and urban areas. Out of this, 1,331 deaths (31.20%) occurred in rural areas. As of now 7,806 deaths are being analyzed, to determine how many deaths occurred in villages and how many in cities in a month.”

Vaccine wastage in Rajasthan

Rajasthan reported the highest percentage of Covid-19 vaccine wastage. According to a report by Hindi daily Patrika, a total of 11.5 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine, which amounts to almost 7 per cent, has been wasted in the Congress-ruled state.

Though many districts in Rajasthan have reportedly wasted several doses of vaccines, the wastage rate recorded in Rajasthan’s Churu district stood the highest at 39.7 per cent, followed by Hanumangarh, where the waste per cent was recorded to be 24.60 per cent. Bharatpur stood at number three after it reported 17.13 per cent. Kota finished fourth with a 16.71 per cent of waste rate.

New cases in the state

2,314 fresh Covid-19 cases and 70 more deaths were reported in the state on Saturday. The city of Jaipur reported the highest number of fresh cases and deaths at 401 and 13 respectively. 

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